Category Archive: Avinode Group

  1. Elisa Diener – What it means to be the crucial first point of contact for our Paynode customers.

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    Hi Elisa. As Customer Success Manager Payments, tell us a little about a day
    in your life at Avinode.

    Firstly, I always grab a coffee before doing anything – I love that first cup in the
    morning. Then, as my role is to build relationships with our customers, it means
    getting the newly activated Paynode members onboarded and comfortable with the
    system. For the members that already are active on Paynode, I’m the main point of
    contact for any questions or issues they may have.

    I may find myself onboarding a new Paynode client, which entails setting them up,
    taking them through how the system works and answering their questions. I tend to
    make the session conversational; a two-way dialogue rather than me just demoing it.
    That way they can understand how Paynode can meet their specific business
    needs.

    Each day I also work closely with the account managers, and we talk a lot to ensure
    we have a proper alignment with our customers.
    Then there’s the regular day-to-day support queries that come my way. A user may
    be having a payment hiccup or need help with the system. I make sure I’m on top of
    those questions straight away.


    That speed of response must be very important in your role

    Absolutely. It’s vital that when a customer reaches out for support, I respond quickly.
    Even if I don’t have an answer right away, they need to feel they’ve been heard. Part
    of this is also listening to their feedback on how we can make Paynode and our
    service even better. We’ve implemented some of the suggestions from customers
    into the product, which is nice.


    You have a banking background I believe

    That’s right, I spent about 16 years in the banking world. I studied Business
    Administration with a Major in Finance at the University of Texas El Paso. I went
    there on a tennis scholarship, and it was quite a culture shock to go from Sweden to
    living in the US right by the Mexican border, but I loved it.

    After graduating I spent one semester as a volunteer assistant coach with the tennis
    team, then I went to work at Morgan Stanley as a Financial Advisor Trainee. From
    there I moved to Chicago to work at Merrill Lynch.


    And then you moved back to Sweden

    Yes, I returned in 2009 to join SEB, one of the largest banks in Sweden. But there
    came a time when I wanted to try something new and put my experience to use
    elsewhere. When I found Avinode and this role, I knew it would be a perfect fit for
    me.


    That must have been a big change in culture for you

    The culture at Avinode is certainly very different, but for the better.
    For a start, it’s easier to make a positive impact in your work. In a smaller group,
    your voice gets heard. You can sometimes get lost in a huge corporation, and there
    are so many layers of hierarchy.

    But here, it’s a flat structure and an open environment where everyone is
    encouraged to speak and contribute. You get to know everyone, all the way up to
    the CEO, and I like that.


    What would you say is the best aspect of your role?

    I just really love the interaction with colleagues and customers. The Avinode team is
    a fun group to work with and we have great social gatherings.

    As for my customers, they’re all over the world. Zoom calls work well but meeting
    face-to-face makes a big difference. I’ve been to London and Geneva and met
    customers in person and that’s always great. I look forward to doing more of that.


    And finally, do you still play tennis?

    No, I don’t play anymore. I was getting too frustrated with how I play today
    compared with how I played when I was twenty. But I do play paddle tennis with
    some colleagues, which is a lot of fun. And then there’s a lot of basketball these
    days instead, supporting my two daughters and my husband who coaches.

    I do, however, work out every morning before I start my workday. That’s my morning
    routine, the gym, then coffee. Then I’m ready to go.


  2. Mike Prachar – How Paynode is proving to be the perfect payment partner for this fast-growing operator

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    Hi Mike. Can you tell us a little about Volato

    We are a full-service private aviation company that primarily operates the HondaJet. We offer fractional ownership, the Stretch Jet Card, charter and aircraft management. In our fractional program, by offering shares down to a 16th size, we remove the cost of entry barrier for more people who want to get involved and enjoy the benefits of private jet ownership.

    What’s special about our model is that owners in our fractional program can fly as little or as much as they like, and they earn a revenue share every time their aircraft flights a live mission – even when they fly. The HondaJet is perfect for four passenger missions, is 40% less expensive to operate, is quieter, and yet has all the comfort and luxury of larger jets.


    And I believe you’re growing fast

    Yes, we are. We’re getting a lot of requests for larger aircraft, which is something we weren’t planning to do right away, but we’ve listened to our customers.

    We have 11 HondaJets in the fleet with 18 more on order and we just announced our order for four Gulfstream G280s in a ten passenger configuration that we will also fractionalize.  

    Our charter operations incorporate an even broader range of modern aircraft. These are exciting times for sure.


    How did you first come to use Paynode?
    When we were exploring how to best manage payments on the charter side, it made sense to choose a solution that was as close to turnkey as you can get. Paynode was an easy choice for us because it ticked that box, plus we were already Schedaero and Avinode customers since day.

    With the revenue share model we offer, we want to fly our planes as much as possible to offset our owners’ costs. If they themselves only fly a little each year, the majority of their costs can be covered by us. That’s where Avinode and Paynode play a big part in our story.


    How about dealing with other brokers who are Paynode users?
    That’s something we’re not taking as much advantage of just now, but we hope to do more of in the future. We have a couple of customers buying from us through Paynode, and it’s so nice to avoid the whole wire situation. As Paynode’s footprint grows – especially here in the US – we’ll be doing even more of that for sure.


    What features would you say offer the biggest benefit to your business?

    Not so much a feature, but I find the entire process of managing a reservation very easy with Paynode.
    From placing a credit card hold, then either collecting the money on the card or, if the ACH comes in time, switching to that and being able to manage that as a single translation. In my opinion, that’s the most useful feature in terms of saving us time.

    Paynode also manages credit card holds seamlessly and removes the complexity that you find with the standard direct banking way of doing things.


    And what would you improve?

    There are a few improvements that I’d like to see which would enhance Paynode.

    Right now, there’s a ten day hold on the system, and it’s not always clear when these are going to expire. Some form of notification on this would be helpful. Also, if we have to do a refund there’s no way to do that or track it with Paynode. It would be nice if we could design something into the system that makes this easier to manage.

    Having said that, the overall concept of Paynode is really sound, and the feature set is very good. It would just be even better with these new additions.


    How have you found using the Paynode system?

    Personally, I was shown the system, and was up and running right away. It’s that straightforward. Part of the beauty of Paynode is that you train your team – like we did with our Charter Sales team – and it just works.

    It enables them to always be fully aware of what’s happening. They can access the payment mechanisms and know when cash comes in, without having to go back and forth to accounting all the time. Also, we don’t have to give every team member access to more of the financial system than they need.


    So, you’re happy with what Paynode brings to Volato

    Absolutely. The integration with Avinode is a big deal for us. Avinode is one of our key input streams for charter business and as long as there continues to be enough business for us on the platform, we’re happy there.

    We have a number of accounts payable and accounts receivable mechanisms in and out of the company, and we’re very happy keeping the charter business on Paynode. We haven’t found the need to look for a better solution, and I don’t think there even is one that’s more tailored to the charter industry.

  3. Becky Bakeman – How Paynode helps keep things simple for this complex business.

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    I see that RAI Jets has a very broad remit, Becky

    Yes, we do a lot of different things. There’s aircraft charter, aircraft management and maintenance, we have hanger space, and we have our own fuel farm so we can fuel our aircraft and those of our hanger tenants. 

    Our main base is in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but we also manage the airport for the city of Sturgis. 


    You’ve been an Avinode member for many years too

    Oh yes, it seems like forever! We’ve also been using Schedaero for a long time – we’re probably one of the first customers. 

    We’ve had nothing but good experiences with Avinode and Schedaero, so it was a simple decision to also begin using Paynode. I think I first heard about Paynode through an email from the Avinode guys, or maybe at the Scheduler Dispatcher convention, but I’m glad we made the leap because it’s changed our business massively.


    What was life like before Paynode?

    As a business, we use a smaller bank – a credit union – and in the past, getting funds wired was not as simple as it should be. Also, we couldn’t accept credit card payments through the bank, so we had to use our own credit card machine. We even tried the credit card payment functionality of our accounting program, but that too was far from ideal. 


    There are many strands to your business. What challenges does that pose and how does Paynode help with these?

    Obviously we see a lot of funds coming in all the time, and we also send a lot out as well, so Paynode helps us keep track of everything.

    There’s also plenty of paperwork to do. With Paynode, it’s so nice to have all our documentation already filled out for the companies we work with regularly. I’d say that having all that information saved – so I don’t have to type it in every time when dealing with a repeat customer – is the feature I love best about Paynode. 

    The old way would see me complete a form by hand, scan it in, then fax it to my bank because they wouldn’t accept email. Then I’d have to wait for them to call me back, review the form with me and make sure I am who I say I am before approving the release of funds. Even then, things didn’t always go smoothly. 

    Now, I just go into Paynode, fill out the information once and hit send. Then I get my email confirmation. It’s that easy. 


    So no more having to deal with banks around incoming funds

    Thankfully not. In the past, our credit union used an intermediary bank, so funds would go to a bigger bank first, then to our bank, then into our account. 

    The problem is that there’s often a step that customers would miss, so the funds would go to the big bank and sit there in limbo because they didn’t know where to put them. I would have to make countless phone calls to sort things out.

    Now, with Paynode, I have no issues. The funds go in and we’re ready to go.


    It must be nice having everything in one system

    Yes, it really is. I like to have all my charter funds in one place so when I reconcile that account, all I’m looking at are my flights. 

    In my other bank I have all sorts of funds going in and out – everything from buying jet fuel and landing fees to catering and office supplies – so it’s very helpful to isolate those funds that are specifically related to our aircrafts’ movements.


    Are there any other features in Paynode that you find really useful?

    In the past, once every couple of years, I’d have a customer in, say Canada, trying to send me funds. It was always a fiasco. But with Paynode there’s no problem thanks to the different currency accounts we have set up. Dealing with different currencies is now effortless.


    Would you recommend Paynode to other companies in the aviation space?

    I would definitely recommend Paynode. It’s simple and makes life easier. 

    For us – because we also use Avinode and Schedaero – everything is joined up and it  works so well. There are so many little details that save us time. For example, I know that all my wire information is on my quotes, which is one less thing for me to think about. 

    The good thing is that I’m starting to see a lot more companies coming onboard now. It used to be that I was the only one in my network that I saw with the little Paynode symbol, but that’s defiantly changing.


    Want to simplify your payments? Join Paynode today. No fee to sign up, no subscription costs, and no monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Read more here.

  4. Ronny Dominguez – How Paynode is the perfect payment partner for this fast growing brokerage.

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    I believe Moonlight Jet is a new name in the industry, Ronny.

    That’s right. We’re a charter brokerage company which only started trading in January 2022. We’re in the early stages of the business, but already things are going really well.


    Have you been using Paynode since the start?

    Not since day one, but from very early on. We did maybe five transactions before moving to Paynode and enjoying the benefits of having a dedicated payment system.


    Can you tell us what a typical transaction looked like before Paynode? 

    I’ll give you the example of our very first payment as a company. 

    The online bank we were using – which didn’t offer a payment solution – was based in the US and only accepted payments in US dollars. Our client was flying from Switzerland to France and wanted to pay in either Swiss francs or euros. I ended up having to meet the client in person and use a credit card terminal to charge him in Swiss francs. 

    While this was far from ideal, it did act as the catalyst to find a more stable solution.


    How did you hear about Paynode?

    I was doing my research into payment solutions which incorporated credit card payments and transactions. I have a background in finance and accounting, so I had a really clear idea of what we needed. 

    At the time, we had just starting using Avinode. I was looking through all the support materials and instructions and I saw that there was a payment solution linked to Avinode. It seemed perfect for us, so I contacted the Paynode team to find out more and we went from there.


    Did you find Paynode easy to use?

    Yes, given my experience with many other finance and payment systems, I found it straightforward to use. You run your KYB form, set up your account and the different currency accounts you want, and away you go.

    But I have to say, the training and support is also excellent. The Paynode guys are truly knowledgeable and have been able to answer even some very specific questions I’ve had. If I have any issues, I know they’ll be resolved within a few hours.


    What is your favourite Paynode feature?

    It’s so useful being able to easily trade currencies in the system – to buy, sell and move your money around. You can see the rates for that day, as well as days in advance, so you can always get the best rate at the right time. The fact that all this happens in real-time, is great.

    Another cool feature is when buying a long trip – the figures we’re talking about can be big – Paynode gives you the option to hold an amount on the credit card while you wait for the wire transfer payment to come in. This gives some guarantee for us brokers and the operators.

    I also like the security features. When generating a payment link in the system, there’s an in-built internal approval process, which helps make the entire process safe and secure for everyone. 


    And what feature would you like to see in future?

    I’d love it if American companies were able to send payment requests in different currencies for credit cards. That would be a big win for all involved.


    What would you say to other brokers or operators who are considering Paynode? 

    I would tell them that in my research, there’s nothing else like Paynode on the market.

    From experience, it’s perfect for new start-up companies who are very flexible. For bigger businesses that are more established, it may be a little trickier to incorporate a new system, but Paynode will help them grow and save them time and money. It will also really help their accounting team to consolidate accounts at the end of each month. 

    Another thing that I’ve seen is that Paynode becomes a key central point for clients, brokers and suppliers. It’s a go-to application that brings all parties together.


    Is that because people trust Paynode?

    For sure. The Paynode symbol creates credibility. For me as a broker, I know that the operator must feel comfortable even if the payment is not yet secure. Paynode gives them that piece of mind.



    Want to simplify your payments? Join Paynode today. No fee to sign up, no subscription costs, and no monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Read more here.

  5. Brad Searls – How being part of the Avinode system means you can trust in Paynode. 

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    You’ve been in the charter business for more than two decades, Brad 

    That’s right, I’ve been a pilot for many, many years, before recently founding The Jet Guys. We’re a charter brokerage company and we also advertise aircraft management for part 91 use only. Although we’re in our early years, we’re seeing some really encouraging growth. 


    Were you familiar with Avinode from your time flying?

    Yes, I was. When working for another company about seven years ago – I was a captain on one of their planes plus I took care of the charter brokering side of things for them – I suggested using Avinode. Then, when I started The Jet Guys, I went straight back to Avinode because it’s the biggest and the best out there in my opinion. 


    Is that how you heard about Paynode?

    It was, yes. We were looking for the most trusted way for clients to pay us and for us to pay operators. Also, being able to accept credit cards from clients was key to us. 

    Paynode ticked all these boxes and offered the bonus of being linked with the Avinode system, which means we can do everything in one place. I don’t know of any other platform right now that offers what Avinode and Paynode do.


    How do you find Paynode to use?

    It’s simple and intuitive. There have been a few occasions where I’ve had to call on the Paynode team for support – I had issues with a couple of last minute wires and the guys were great and even helped speed things up – but really, I’ve had no troubles with the system.


    And have you seen the benefits that come with using Paynode?

    For sure. Paynode creates great efficiencies for us in the way we wire funds, handle credit card payments and can make currency exchanges if we need to in the future. I’ve not had to use my local bank for any of these tasks, thanks to Paynode.

    Being able to request payments from the client directly in the system is so quick and easy. Just sending them that link saves me having to leave the system. The credit card feature also saves me time when I’m doing follow up billing for catering and ground transportation. 


    Are there any issues that could be looked at to make Paynode better?

    I think the only hiccup is around when funds are released to me. If someone wants to pay for a flight with a credit card, I always have to front the amount because I don’t receive the money in time to pay the operator several days prior to the trip. 

    That’s not just a Paynode thing, I’ve looked at other merchant accounts and it seems like they too – for that amount of money – want to hold it for a period for security reasons. I understand that’s how things are, but it would be great if it wasn’t the case.


    So, you’re looking forward to seeing a greater take-up of Paynode across the industry?

    I really am. I would say to brokers and operators everywhere that signing up to Paynode will simplify life for us all – especially when dealing with last minute trip requests around the weekend where banks are closed and the operators wants their money. 

    There have been several occasions where I’ve wished an operator had Paynode because I could pay them instantly, no matter what day it is. I want them to be paid and happy, and to know that they’re dealing with a good broker they can trust. Paynode is key to this. 


    Want to simplify your payments? Join Paynode today. No fee to sign up, no subscription costs, and no monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Read more here.

  6. Vladimir Bogaychuk – How Paynode brings speed to the fast-moving world of business aviation.

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    Hi, Vladimir. Tell us about CTR Atmospherica Aviation
    Well, we’re a Prague-based operator that’s been providing private aviation services since 2006. We have a really professional team and a fleet of aircrafts ranging from entry level to super midsize jets. This allows us to be flexible in the trip solutions we offer.

    As we’re growing a lot, we hope to add two more aircraft to our fleet this year and another next year. We’re also expanding the geography of our flights and investing in the quality of service we provide. 


    Do you remember how you first heard about Paynode?

    We were already an Avinode customer – we have been since 2013 – so I think it was through a pop-up message that tells you about new features and options. Then I got an invitation for an online webinar where Paynode was described in more detail. 

    After attending that, I just knew we had to start using Paynode. Also, as Avinode members, we had no concerns about using another product from a trusted vendor that we’ve had a long successful history with.


    What was the biggest factor in your decision?

    The main reason was to take advantage of the benefits that come with making instant payments. Being able to sort payments, stress-free and within minutes – whether it’s a bank day or not – is a game-changer. This really makes the booking process simpler and more efficient.


    Would you say that instant payments are your preferred payment option where possible?

    For sure. It’s a great feature because it makes our life easier. It eliminates risks and gives you more room to concentrate on other flight preparation aspects instead of payment issues.


    Can you remember your first Paynode payment?

    Yes. There was a situation where we couldn’t receive the wire transfer before the flight was due to happen at the weekend, so it was an ideal time to use Paynode instant payment. It was one of those occasions where both the broker and I were happy to see the Paynode user icon on each other’s profile. The whole process was easy, quick and stress-free.


    How else has Paynode made life easier for you as a business?

    One of the currency accounts that we use in Paynode is a GBP account, which means we now have greater flexibility when working with our UK-based partners. There are no currency exchange fees to pay and the payment is as fast as a domestic transfer.


    What Paynode features do you like best?

    The business aviation sector is known for its high-workflow intensity. What I really like about Paynode is the automatic notifications, confirmations and history logs that let you easily control payment processes.

    Another Paynode tool that we use a lot is the card hold feature. It’s secure, quick to process, and so well designed that we completely moved to this solution with regards to all credit card operations.


    That’s great to hear that you handle all credit card transactions through Paynode 

    It’s so easy, and the information the feature provides is excellent. I like that you get email notifications on all key statuses of the payment, such as authorization or credit card hold expiration. 

    Also, sometimes the value of a transaction changes. When that happens, you don’t need to start the process from point zero, you just copy the original form and change the details that you need. This feature is very useful when you’re working on an urgent flight.


    From your perspective, how could Paynode be improved further?

    I’d like to see the credit card hold extended. Occasionally, the current six day period is not enough to pay the broker and receive funds to our account. In this situation, you’re either left without a guarantee for some time, or the broker must put on hold the same amount again.

    If it was possible to send a request to the client to confirm the extension of the hold and, after confirmation extend it, this would solve the issue.


    The number of brokers and operators using Paynode has doubled since you came on board last summer. What would you say to any partner considering Paynode?

    I would say join us. The more brokers and operators using Paynode, the better things will be for the whole industry. Just imagine how great it would be if any confirmed flight between Avinode users could be instantly paid for via Paynode. 

    I’d recommend Paynode to anyone. It will make your life easier and when you’re running a business, you can’t put a price on that.



    Want to simplify your payments? Join Paynode today. No fee to sign up, no subscription costs, and no monthly minimums. It’s all included in your Avinode membership. Read more here.